Cultural Diversity, Spirituality and Ethics in Healthcare

Course Description

This course focuses on the fundamentals of an evidence-based approach to examining a range of cultural norms, religions, and alternative health care practices of varied racial and ethnic groups, and how these practices affect the definition, design and implementation of culturally competent, individualized health care. Variations in race, ethnic, age and gender groups, family structure and patient support will be explored. Emphasis will be placed on summarizing intercultural aspects and how the multicultural professional nursing workforce can collaborate to assess, plan, and manage care according to the cultural and spiritual needs of individual patients and populations.

Course Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Identify and contextualize the factors that constitute their personal culture, beliefs, and upbringing to understand how those factors influence interactions with patients and the environment. (PLO 2)
  2. Discuss variations in cultural, and religious backgrounds and practices of patients and families, and their effect on compliance with treatment. (PLO 3, 7, 9)
  3. Analyze alternative healthcare practices and the effect they have on the provision of patient centered care. (PLO 3, 7, 9)
  4. Synthesize aspects of knowledge and communication principles pertinent to the intercultural aspects of patient care, and manage care according to the cultural and spiritual needs of individual patients. (PLO 2, 4, 5, 6)
  5. Evaluation of knowledge of the impact between morals and ethics and how they direct patient and provider choices for treatment across the lifespan. (PLO 2, 8, 9)

Welcome to Week 5

Transcultural nursing truly reaches across the globe. This week you will investigate how global issues affect health and why culture assessments and communication are important components in bridging the cultural divide.

What does global health mean in terms of nursing? Baumann and Hartjes (2013) state the following:

”Global nursing is the adoption of a global health perspective by nursing professionals interested in seeking collaborative and sustainable solutions to health problems irrespective of national boundaries. These solutions and innovations involve both the professional development of individuals and capacity building in nursing systems at national, regional, and international levels (International Council of Nurses, 2009). This work requires respect for differences in language, culture, customs, and health beliefs. Equally important is the need to approach health issues in partnership with communities by mutually identifying expectations, resources, and strategies for capacity building that are best suited to the specific context” (Baumann and Hartjes, 2013, p 74-75).

Baumann, L. C. & Hartjes, L. B. (2013). Perspectives on nursing in a global context. In L. D. Purnell Transcultural Health Care: A culturally competent approach (4th ed.). Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Company.


Choose one question to answer, (state the question at the start of your post)

  1. Discuss the importance of verbal and non-verbal communication and the use of translators to obtain accurate patient assessments.
  2. Elaborate on the importance of conducting cultural assessments and how can nurses and other healthcare providers conduct cultural assessments.
  3. From chapter 6 in the text go to and choose one of the development goals and provide a summary of that goal and present how that goal affects health globally and in your community.

Include at least one article within the last 5 years to support your discussion-other than the articles from this course.


McFarland, M. R. and Wehbe-Alamah, H. B. (2018). Leininger’s Transcultural Nursing: Concepts, Theories, Research & Practice (4th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill Education ISBN: 978-0-07-184113-9  chapters 6 and 7

The Caritas Processes as a Guide Toward Caring Intentions – Brigham Heart & Science (

Study: Caritas 1-10

References (not older than 5 years) with corresponding in text citations using APA format 7th edition

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